My team experienced an outage this week. All outages are enlightening, but this one stood out as it cut across the systems owned by two other teams. One team launched a feature that dramatically increased the demand on our system, which led to an issue with the other team’s system. When the other team resolved that issue, my team’s system experienced a sudden increase in demand, falling behind the requests.
We are still dealing with the aftermath of the incident. But I look forward to learning to provide better visibility into other teams’ projects and set up clear expectations for what we can support.
Software Engineering ⚙️
Refactoring and Optimizing a High Traffic API at PayPal
This article provides an overview of the team’s optimization effort. I see five different activities here:
- Prioritizing a problem: The team’s service violated SLA and provided a poor customer experience.
- Setting up key metrics: The service latency was used to measure the progress.
- Designing a solution: The team found bottlenecks with the sequential loading of resources.
- Building the solution: The team implemented a couple of optimization techniques.
- Measuring the change: The latency metrics were improved across the board.
I liked this article because it shows the structure of how we do projects everywhere. But not all teams are good at all these activities. My team is still learning how to set up metrics. Our prioritization could be better, too. What about your team?
Handling Incidents Mindfully 🧘🏽 — Part 1: Acceptance
Incidents are stressful. As an owner of a system that’s not meeting customer expectations, we feel like we are under attack. From that defensive perspective, it’s tempting to set up more red tapes to prevent more incidents. But we need to accept that when we change systems or customers change their behaviors, incidents will happen.
Why Success Is Often Elusive at the Highest Echelons
Starting a new job is always tricky. But it gets progressively more challenging because the success looks wildly different from one role to the next. The article talks about a few failure modes to watch out for: inability to dream, failure to execute, lack of support network, lack of context, and cultural incompatibility.
Having Career Conversations
This article was a shocker because “where do you see yourself in a few years” is my favorite 1-1 question. I hadn’t considered that the other person might worry about how I will perceive their answer.
YC advises founders to ‘plan for the worst’ amid market teardown
YC sent out a cautionary memo to its portfolio companies. It says, “it’s your responsibility to ensure your company will survive if you cannot raise money for the next 24 months.” Two years is a long time.
A third straight week of tech layoffs in the books
Tech companies across the stages are announcing layoffs, both big and small. This is an important time to remember that “layoffs don’t happen to companies, they happen to people.”